I read seven books in 2016, and of those, I’d recommend only the first three that I’ve listed here.
Ready Player One
Being a nerd there’s a strong likelihood that I’m going to like anything that blends computer games, 80s nostalgia(I was born in 86'), virtual reality and science fiction into a good story line, and this book certainly doesn’t disappoint!
Set in the dystopian future, the divide between rich and poor is greater than ever. Most find solace by spending their time in a virtual world called OASIS. It’s within OASIS that poor Wade is on a mission to find a series of hidden easter eggs left behind by the world’s creator within the game. The first person to find all of these will win a jackpot making them become the richest person in the world.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
We’ve become conditioned to perceive that those who talk are smarter and therefore seen to be in charge. The flipside of this view is that those who don’t talk, who hold back to contemplate and make a reasoned decision later are seen as weak or lacking which is unfortunate for those of us who identify as introverts. I believe I lie on the introverted side of the spectrum which is why this book really resonated with me as I was able to learn a bit about myself whilst reading it. Nonetheless, the author makes a number of great arguments about how introverts are able to progress despite this tendancy.
Elon Musk: Inventing the Future
There’s no doubt that Elon Musk is a visionary. After selling his first company PayPal to eBay, he invested all the proceeds into SpaceX and Tesla, both of which are flourishing despite the odds being heavily stacked against him. It’s truly inspiring to read about this man’s life so far and how he’s absolutely determined to colonise Mars and I for one am rooting for him!
The World of Cycling According to G
This past year I’ve taken up cycling as a hobby. Much to the dismay of my wife I’ve even started watching it on TV. Naturally, I gravitated toward Team Sky as they have a good track record and most of their squad are British. Geraint Thomas is a double Olympic gold medallist and a long standing member of Sky. So far he’s helped the team win the Tour de France four times in five years, and won many races himself along the way. This book offers a good insight into what it takes to be a world-class cyclist at the top of their game, along with a few cheeky anecdotes about G and his teammates which I found enjoyable.
Racing Through the Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar
Quite the contrast to Geraint’s book, David Millar was a talented British cyclist who started his career when doping in the pro teams was rife i.e. the Lance Armstrong era. Despite his efforts to stay on the straight and narrow, David caved and started doping himself after the pressure to perform became too much. Like Lance, David got caught and received a ban along with a hefty fine.
The Racer: Life on the Road as a Pro Cyclist
After making short work of Racing Through the Dark, I felt compelled to check out another David Millar book. In contrast to that, this is a little ‘less real’ as doping has huge consequences both on and off the bike for a professional cyclist, however, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The book is focussed entirely on the art of racing and the tactics used when riding for a World Tour team. If you’re a keen cyclist then this book won’t disappoint.
Swim, Bike, Run: Our Triathlon Story
Over the past five years two brothers from Bradford, namely Jonny and Alistair Brownlee have dominated the world triathlon scene. This book details their path in to the sport and provides excellent insight in to just how much work, dedication and training is needed to reach this level.
The only downside to this book is that it’s devoid of many personal tales except any which outline a healthy sibling rivalry between Jonny and Alistair.